How to Improve Security – Entry Doors

This is the first in a series of posts on door security. In addition to Entry Doors, we will also spotlight security measures for Double Doors and Sliding Patio Doors.

We see quite a few instances of forced entry in homes…including some attempts that weren’t even noticed by the homeowner. Improving your home’s security doesn’t always require replacing your entry door but you should make sure your door is not an easy mark for forced entry.

Here are some warning signs that indicate your doors might be susceptible to forced entry:

  • Wood doors or door frames that are cracked, rotting or warped
  • Hollow core exterior doors
  • Loose, ill-fitting doors and locks that might be easy to manipulate open
  • Chain locks which are designed for privacy only, not security
  • Missing or loose lock strike plates.  (A strike plate is the metal plate affixed to the house side of the door frame with a hole or holes for the bolt of the door.)
  • Doors with hinges exposed to the outside of your house and equipped with removable hinge pins

If you do decide to replace your entry door, here are some key security features to look for:

  • Choose solid core or paneled wood doors, solid core fiberglass doors, or solid core metal clad doors.
  • Select a door that is at least 1-3/4″ thick.
  • Install a deadbolt with a long throw, at least 1″.
  • Use strike plates with screws longer than 3″ that penetrate through the door jamb and into the house framing.
  • Consider a door with a multi-point locking system that engages at the top, bottom and center of door.
  • If hinges must be exposed to the outside, use hinges with non-removable hinge pins.
  • Even higher levels of security can be attained with optional add-on products such as hinge, jamb and lock reinforcement plates.

You can also take other measures to improve the security around your entrances:

  • Illuminate your entrances at night and regularly check lights and replace burnt out bulbs.
  • Keep landscaping trimmed and at least three feet away from the opening to eliminate hiding places.
  • Re-key or change all locks when moving into a new home.
  • Ask your neighbors to watch for strangers outside your home.  And return the favor!

Home security begins with prevention. Some experts believe that more than 85% of thieves enter through doors, so effective door security is essential. If your entry doors exhibit some of the characteristics of an easy mark for burglars, stop by and let us help you improve your home security with a new entry door.

Feel free to share your favorite security tips below.